The Sense of an Ending
The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes's new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in af...more
I would probably have passed this book by were it not for Michael Wood's review, titled 'Stupidly English', in the LRB Vol. 33, number 18. I tend to imagine your Austers, Rushdies, Franzens and Barneses of the publishing world aren't short of readers and don't need me added to those legions. However, if 'The Sense of an Ending' is anything to go by, the greater loss is certainly mine, and I'm grateful Wood's review drew me to Barnes's Booker winner.
On the face of things, 'The Sense o...more
Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has a lot packed in the short 150 or so pages.
Memory and history, responsibility and blame, deceit, misunderstandings, aging, guilt, remorse - and, of course, a safely passive coasting on the smooth sailing surface of life, occasionally interrupted by the tidal waves of unexpected upheavals and disturbances, just like Severn Bore, seen once by Tony Webster and Veronica.
"We live with such easy assumptions, don’t we? For instance, that memory equals events p...more
First of all, let’s get something straight. I don’t believe people should be judged too harshly for behavior they exhibited in adolescence. That’s not to say that people are not responsible for actions they committed in their youth; it just means that their actions as teenagers do not necessarily reflect the kind of people they will become as adults. So my problem with Tony Webster isn’t that he was an asshole in high school. In fact, I’d probably be a bit hyp...more
That said, it was a pretty decent book. It follows a very simple formula of...more
I think my years as a philosophy student were actually detrimental to my enjoyment of this short novel about life and memory. The stuff that has left other people reeling in amazement reminded me of little more than just another essay on the mind and the way we think, the way we interpret events and the way our memories can let us down. Mr Barnes is clearly a clever man and his writing is a touch complex but always charming. However, is this really that original anymore?
I don't think so. I can...more
I was browsing in a B&N sitting out a winter storm in Lincoln, Nebraska and ran across of stack of The Sense of an Ending with BOOKER PRIZE WINNER blazoned across the front of the book. I dug through the stack of third printings and there near the bottom was one book with BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE on the cover. Well it is sort of cosmic for a collector such as I to find one first American edition in the...more
It opens with six images (an unexpected word in several of them makes them more vivid), each of which form part of the story:
“I remember, in no particular order:
- a shiny inner wrist;
- steam rising from a wet sink as a frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
- gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
- a river rushing nonsensically ups...more
Barnes' novel (or novella) is very short--only 160 pages. You will easily be able to read it in one sitting. The book has generated much discussion on blogs--and apparently, in book...more
(The following paragraph may contain spoilers) As to the possible answers to the questions raised...more
But ultimately, the plot is a gimmick! I don't understand how this won the Booker Prize.
What the heck did Tony ever do to anyone except send a crappy letter to an ex-girlfrien...more
Pretentious, upper middle-class schoolboys behave badly, and -- through too much ego and too little self-knowledge and empathy, too many book smarts and not enough life experience -- inflict cruelty on ex-girlfriends and others as they cavalierly grow out of their coddled adolescence into a ho-hum average life. It then comes back to haunt them - or one of them, anyway - in late middle-a...more
"The Sense of an Ending" is the story of a retired aged man looking at childhood friendships and a significant college girlfriend against the back drop of his middle aged divorce. At each turn he f...more
I was really looking forward to reading Julian Barnes’ “The Sense of an Ending”. I wish that I could say that I really enjoyed having read it.
I was midway through the somewhat slight one-hundred-and-fifty-page novel when Barnes won the Man Booker Prize on October 18th. I was presumptuous enough to conjecture that my high expectations and early positive reactions sent just the vibes Barnes needed to sway the judges. Good thing I wasn’t further along in the book.
The more I read, th...more
Sense of an Ending has me thinking and will probably do so for some time to come. It may be where I am in life, not that I’m old but I am at the point where I have lots to look back on. A book like this makes me examine choices I’ve made, people I’ve known, and secrets I’ve kept. Perhaps it’s best not to dwell too much but certainly even at a l...more
And then, there is that small grain of doubt. Are we remembering things the way they were, or the way we wished they had been? In our recollections, we surely appear kinder, smarter, younger, thinner and better looking. And we never did anything deliberately cruel... did we?
This is a lovely, lovely book, pack...more
Normally, I tend to form the review of a book halfway through the book and then it gets a finer shape as I complete the book. Sometimes the review that I have in mind suddenly metamorphoses into a completely different set of words. But with this book, I just am not able to collect my thoughts to pen them down.
I really liked the book. After completing it I decided that someday, when I grow older than what I am right now, I will read thi...more
“Lịch sử là sự khẳng định sinh ra ở điểm giao nhau giữa sự không hoàn...more
I had a large gap between book 1 and 2 as I was reading it on a friend's iPad. That was a nice experience---as was discussing the book afterward. The reading varied. Barnes' writing is n...more
This is the story of memory and how we use it. It centers on Tony, a sixty-year old who forty years ago was intertwined with two friends Adrian and Veronica, who he dated for a year before she "blow...more
Julian Barnes took my hand, and through Tony Webster's voice, allowed me to walk down his memory lane, or as he would say, the best version of the memory he might have created, his version of the facts. Time and truth. Slippery subjects.
In plain definition, history is a series of events that took place in the irretrievable past, supposedly transcribed in verbatim with impartiality mainly for the edification of human pursuits, accepted as the Truth based on the actuality of Time , as the solidity of its authenticity is judged and interpreted by the current leading majority, moulding it according to the fancy of the many, but in truth, its underlying es...more
|What Barnes book to read next?||9||139||May 01, 2013 01:58am|
|To read First: Atonement or The Sense of an Ending||43||356||Apr 22, 2013 05:22pm|
|The Filipino Group: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (Biena, Blue, Louize, Rhena, Tricia) | Start date: March 29||132||78||Apr 12, 2013 05:05pm|
|What do people think of the ending? (SPOILER ALERT)||34||1587||Mar 31, 2013 11:18am|
|La Stamberga dei ...: Il senso di una fine di Julian Barnes||1||5||Feb 20, 2013 02:41am|
|THE LISTS: The Sense of an Ending 100%||1||23||Jan 21, 2013 08:29am|
|THE LISTS: The Sense of an Ending 90%||1||3||Jan 21, 2013 08:27am|
Following an education at the City of London School...more